A Vancouver, Washington teacher finds herself embroiled in a legal battle with her own union over her choice of which charity to send her union dues. Under Washington law and under the union’s own rules, a teacher can object to her union dues being used in the political way in which NEA affiliates usually use their dues: to fund democrat causes. These rules allow a person to use a portion of their dues to fund a charitable organization of their choice.
This teacher, who will be on the show tonight, wanted to use her money to help Shared Hope International, an organization that literally saves girls and young women from the sex slavery trade internationally. I’ve personally seen how SHI works, having in the past been a volunteer there. The teacher is being aided by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation in Washington state.
The union’s own policy states “The goal is to respect the objector’s choice of charities, so long as the designated recipient is lawful and charitable.” But the union doesn’t like SHI. In meetings/hearings with the teacher–who has been fighting for the right to give her money to SHI for more than a year and a half and must travel to Olympia to attend these hearings–they’ve never articulated the problem they have with the charity. Until now.
On the phone with my producer on Tuesday, the executive director of the VEA told Eric that Shared Hope quote “COOKS ITS BOOKS” and that “Christians feed off Christians.”
While Shared Hope is composed of some Christian people and loves these girls and young women in a Christ-like manner, SHI is not per se a Christian organization. Still the anti Christian sentiment is evident in the VEA’s response to our queries.
Another reason for the VEA’s stone walling could be because the head of Shared Hope is none other than former Washington state legislator and former Washington State Congresswoman, Linda Smith. It’s in her role as a former Washington legislator that could be at play here. It seems Ms. Smith co sponsored the law back in the day that gives the teacher the right to stop the union’s check jack and give the money to her favorite charity instead.
On the issue of “cooking the books” the VEA had no proof to offer in the hearing and, in fact, seems to have made a huge error. Not only in the whole slandering the charity thing but with the facts behind the allegation in the first place. Unless the VEA is moonlighting as a charity rating agency and has a new set of criteria it uses to determine if a charity is “cooking the books” they’re just flat wrong.
Here’s the listing from the noted charity rating organization “Charity Navigator.” For those of you at VEA three out of four stars means it’s a good charity.
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Click on a charity’s name to view their complete rating report.
One life at a time, we can make a difference
International : International Peace, Security, and Affairs
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I think the VEA has some ‘splainin’ to do.